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Portuguese Journal of Nephrology & Hypertension

versão impressa ISSN 0872-0169


VIANA, Helena et al. Atheroembolic renal disease as a cause of allograft primary non-function. Port J Nephrol Hypert [online]. 2013, vol.27, n.1, pp.61-67. ISSN 0872-0169.

Atheroembolic renal disease, also referred to as cholesterol crystal embolization, is a rare cause of renal failure, secondary to occlusion of renal arteries, renal arterioles and glomerular capillaries with cholesterol crystals, originating from atheromatous plaques of the aorta and other major arteries. This disease can occur very rarely in kidney allografts in an early or a late clinical form. Renal biopsy seems to be a reliable diagnostic test and cholesterol clefts are the pathognomonic finding. However, the renal biopsy has some limitations as the typical lesion is focal and can be easily missed in a biopsy fragment. The clinical course of these patients varies from complete recovery of the renal function to permanent graft loss. Statins, acetylsalicyclic acid, and corticosteroids have been used to improve the prognosis. We report a case of primary allograft dysfunction caused by an early and massive atheroembolic renal disease. Distinctive histology is presented in several consecutive biopsies. We evaluated all the cases of our Unit and briefly reviewed the literature. Atheroembolic renal disease is a rare cause of allograft primary non -function but may become more prevalent as acceptance of aged donors and recipients for transplantation has become more frequent.

Palavras-chave : Allograft; atheroembolism; cholesterol; kidney.

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